A brief history of Modern Magic

Logan City Study Group

Assembled by Odd July 2001

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A brief history of Modern Magic

Logan City Study Group

Table of Contents
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Celts & Druidism.............................................................................................................................. 3 Medieval Period - Astrology and Medicine....................................................................................... 7 Dee, John.......................................................................................................................................... 8 Kabbalah (Western Magickal Tradition)(Cabala)............................................................................ 10 Levi, Eliphas (1810-1875) .............................................................................................................. 14 Theosophical Society...................................................................................................................... 16 Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn .............................................................................................. 16 Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) ........................................................................................................ 18 Wicca ............................................................................................................................................. 19 a) Gerald B. Gardner (1884-1964) .................................................................................................. 19 b) Sanders, Alexander (1929-1988)................................................................................................. 22 c) Farrar, Janet (1950- ) and Stewart (1916-2000) ........................................................................... 24

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and lakes. Both on the continent and in Ireland the Druids held themselves above the kings unless they held both offices. When the people were not nearby groves they assembled by rivers. More evidence that the Druids and the religion of Druidism held the Celts together were the tribal assemblies which occurred on days that were vital in the agricultural year. None of this trusted knowledge was committed to writing. The Celts worshipped water gods and believed water to be sacred. There were two notable classes among them. In Gaul there were always boundary disputes that required Druidic intervention. The Druids also valued the trees for curative benefits. Caesar mentions some of these beliefs and the behavior of the people in his "Gaelic Wars. infertility. (also called Mon or Anglesey). and other parts of Europe. each separate and independent of each other. who shared with him many Druid beliefs. Caesar noted those not obeying the decisions were banished from the tribe and even a wider community. interpreted ritual questions. therefore he was keenly interested in the Druidism and the Celtic people. which was seen as a sign from the Celtic Otherworld (their name of a place where after life was thought to exist) was used as a cure against poisons. Remnants of Druidism still presently exist. century BC. which was shared for them by the people." This judgment of the Druids was profound and also served to unite the Celtic people. ancient Ireland was divided into five communities. or the light half of the year. For example. The chief reason for this is that they taught their acolytes secret Druidical knowledge by word of mouth. sacred to the sea god. he observed. Christianity dealt them their final defeat. and even used to cure animals. the Romans destroyed the sanctuary there in 60 AD. Manannan." In Ireland kings went nowhere without Druids to advise them. The original Druidic festive days were 'Beltain. The Druids called themselves "creators of the universe. It is thought that both Irish and British Druids periodically assembled in sacred strongholds. Caesar was not only a warrior and statesman but a priest as well. took place in "sanctified" places. written in Ogam (a cryptic -3- . It was here that people from a large area or a whole island would gather.' May 1. Asia Minor. Ireland. "knowing the oak tree" in Caelic. This migration had occurred by the 5th. especially oak trees. Druids believed they were the incarnations of the gods. The Druids were concerned with the divine worship. especially about their gods and life after death. There is little first hand knowledge or the Druids or of their religion. By the first century AD the Roman had launched many attacks against the Celts that greatly dwindled their population. and 'Samhain. the dark half of the year (see Sabbats). It can readily be seen that it was here in these sacred groves that the Druids dispensed their judgment and punishments. the beginning of winter. Caesar asserted several times "that Druid power originated in Britain and that Britain remained the center of Druidism. the Druids and the knights. Diviciacus. but all unified on days of great feasts. he was friendly with a pro-Roman Druid. the beginning of summer." The Gauls. as they were called. The Druids were a priestly caste existing among the Celtic people. Like trees and water the Druids held some islands to be sacred too. A stone discovered in the 19thcentury bore a Celtic inscription. What were these "sanctified" or sacred places in which the Druids assembled? First and most important they were sacred groves of trees. It was within these groves that most assemblies and religious ceremonies occurred. The assemblies.' November 1. The most important knowledge that exists of the Druids comes from the writings of Julius Caesar. They held themselves in very high esteem. and the Balkans. settled disputes and issued punishments to those refusing to obey their rulings. The suggestion that the Druids settled boundary disputes indicates the importance of Druidic rule among the Celtic tribes. The mistletoe. The name Druid means. Druidic decisions were critical and were to be completely adhered to. The Celts. especially large and important ones. Celts & Druidism Druidism was the religion of the Celtic people that was administered by priests and priestesses called Druids. were a tribal people who spread throughout Gaul.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group 1. it was all learned through mnemonics. The Isle of Man. Britain. appears to have been viewed with similar solemnity. Moreover. they officiated over both public and private sacrifices. streams. treated their ordinary people almost like slaves. One is the island of Mona.

They were performed within a religious and spiritual sense. he would often turn his sword upon himself. he addresses the Druids with. There are several descriptions of Druidic human sacrifices. In most. astronomy and the composition of poetry. The Druids were said to be the keepers of traditional wisdom that was concerned with moral philosophy. Behind Druidical performance of human sacrifice laid the Druidic belief in an after life. Again Caesar emphatically states it. but it arose from generations of Druid teachings. battles bards went along. which translates: "The Stone of Dovadona. pass through a long series of metamorphoses -. reborn. like other priests and priestesses.they become ravens. initially originating as two swineherds of the Lord of the Otherworld.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group writing used mainly for commemorative inscriptions on wood and stone).hence the Celts' bravery in battle. Many were performed publicly among the Celtic people especially at the celebration of Beltain. are marching away from it. including the enigmatic passage graves (dolmens of the megaliths) that stud Ireland. natural phenomena and theology.the most important Druid belief was that after death the soul passes from one to another -. From these beliefs came the interweaving of the spiritual and mundane worlds until the two could hardly be separated. having been recited at gravesites. Such an attitude or viewpoint is a blending of ancient Celtic and protoCeltic ideals that formed the essential and archaic nature of Druidism. One column of warriors are marching to the sacrifice while another. This preceded the coming of Saint Columba. was sometimes accompanied by self-sacrifice. were considered gifted -4- .. Druids taught such teachings for countless generations." The composing of poems was the chief duty of the bard. Bards. "If we understand you right. the conducting of sacrifices. born without a father. They consecrate a human being to death. The Druids ordered a child." In it two magical bulls possessing human reasoning. stages. if not all. It seems that one of Columba's brethren was sacrificed to build a monastery there. "The inhabitants employ a very surprising and incredible custom when they want to know matters of great importance. a petition to the gods. and other discoveries and legends also indicate this. In the poet Lucan's "Pharsalia. One way the Druids read omens was by killing a victim. death is only a pause in a long life. but to other life forms as well. warriors. equipment that would seem to indicate the belief the soul would need these things in the Otherworld. This is evident in the Irish epic 'Tain Bo Cuailnge. Many seasonal assemblies were held at burial sites." a verse epic about the Roman civil war. If a leader of warriors was defeated in battle. They were skilled in the reading of omens. There were also private human sacrifices. above the abdomen. drive a dagger into his belly. the classic writings. "Doctrinally. The wheel appears on sword-sheaths and other pieces of art. not to fight but to record the battle that they later composed into verse to be sung and read to the people of their tribe or clan. An explanation for this might be the Celts compared men to sacrificial vassals in which human life was offered up in exchange for another existence. who was also considered a priest in Druidism. It is known that the wheel was a Celtic symbol of rebirth. There is the discovery of the three sons of the fifth-century Irish King Erc buried on Iona. During the building of Vortigen's castle the construction was delayed because as soon as a stone was laid it disappeared. In tombs have been found remains of lavish amounts of food. Some say they also practiced sexual magic. son of the Druid. A similar interpretation might be drawn from the sacrifice scene on the Gundestrup Cauldron. demons and aquatic worms. herbal medicine. They have been practicing this since time immemorial. This indicates pagan beliefs and ceremonies still existed long after the coming of Christianity. According to Welsh legend such human sacrifices were recommended and performed. water monsters." This indicates Druids inhabited Man as late as the fifth and sixth century AD. and then into a new life.. hearty mead. the interpretation of dreams. be sacrificed and its blood sprinkled on the site to cleanse it. and draw conclusions about events to come from the squirming of the victim and the squirting of his blood." This belief in reincarnation was not just in the transmigration of the soul from one human form to another." The writer Posidonius states that Celtic men were willing to have their throats cut so they could follow their prince into death. in disgrace. and vernacular tradition to the present reinforces Caesar's assertion. Bards were free to move about in battle without being in danger because it was a strict rule of Druidic law that no bard should be killed. The evidence from archaeology.' "The Cattle Raid of Cooley. the construction of a calendar. That the Celts did not fear death was not because they had a low regard for life or a feeling of recklessness in battle. The reverse was also true.

known as "Thunder. and imbibed in it. and his "ancestral" name -." Three other major gods were Teutates. but for the sake of religiosity. or "wise men" officiated at these rituals. All of these cultural traditions seem to indicate a Druidic influence." Much attention has been drawn to the Druid human sacrificial ceremonies that usually conducted on the festive days. and little wonder. Caesar said that the Gauls "all assert their descent from Dis Pater and that it is the Druidic belief. had given explicit instructions. Fires played an important role at Beltain and Samhain. He required prisoners of war to be burned in wicker cages.A brief history of Modern Magic for their offices. This not fearing death made them braver. his "collective" name (the classics stated that the Celts knew themselves by the name of Keltoi. which figured strongly among the Celts. In such receptacles were often offered expensive weapons and ornaments to the gods. and geographer. These appear to be mundane reasons when Caesar also noted some Druids studied as long as twenty years. Diodorus Sculus. It was called a barbaric practice. since he required his victims to be hung or stabbed. Diodorus thought the human beings were slain first by a blow to the head. it was believed.'shut cattle.'" Also "the Roman historian Diodorus Siculus states the Irish ate their enemies. Strabo. Caesar laid this to the fact of their Druidic belief in life after death. as to how their victims were to be sacrificed. The Druids. In the Western Isles the blood brotherhood survived until recent times. Others have written that before their deaths the victims were told what to ask the gods for when reaching the Otherworld. Taranis.which would. "'They set up a colossus of wood and straw' -. although. indicate which pagan god from which he was descended.C). Though he was guardian of the people he required his victims to be drown in sacred wells or pools. reinforces the Celtic belief in an after life. and the eating of the flesh regarded as a 'wholesome remedy. Logan City Study Group Ammianus. wild animals and human beings in it. his identity. fertility and protection.. but of healing. They were well trained and skilled in warfare. known to Druid priests. This information was the person's "own" name. seemed to possess gifts for learning and art. All agreed the Druids. Each. guarding the people against disease and hostility. as it had been noted. These three gods lead the Celtic large and complex pantheon and played important roles in sacrificial worship ceremonies. as they knew how to conduct the proper ceremonies to the gods. however killed.'" This ceremony was usually held at the feast of Beltain and was referred to by Caesar. and because of this they acquired the name of headhunters. But the writers agreed that the victims. less frequently the spiral representing a lightning flash. "god of the people. described the sacrifice. Celtic warriors were known to be fierce fighters.with whole wreaths of victims' heads dangling from their bridles. The most notable were the sacrifices offered to Taranis which was the sacrificing of prisoners. This. "Pliny recorded that the slaying of a human being was considered a highly religious acts among the Britons. Their concern for moral philosophy made them skillful judges in rendering rewards and punishments. were not sacrificed so much as a cruelty. in the early period of these people. again. The Roman Senate by degree outlawed such human sacrifice in 97 BC. a Roman historian (c. There were also female Druids because women were important in the Celtic culture. He was symbolized by the wheel which was either of lightning or a solar symbol. and set light to the whole thing." -5- . Their priestly duties also enhanced their judgments. There were many gods and goddesses Celtic pantheon. 330-395 B. There are few inscriptions to him. and the Greek historian and traveler Pausaniaus tells how the Gallatin Celts ate the flesh and drank the blood of children. Both the Greek biographer. Some were also seers. It was described that Celtic warriors were seen ".it must have been something like a gigantic basket-like plaited figure -. said Druids "are uplifted by searching into things most secret and sublime.. or Celtae)." is equal to Jupiter. Esus was not a very popular god. The Celtic belief in the gods was known by their personal names that rendered three kinds of information about an individual. Why was such influence so strong and prevalent. and. he was called lord and master. They drank the blood of dead relatives." he possessed qualities of both the Roman gods Mars and Mercury in that he was not just a god of war. a custom that existed until the 16th century. because of the threat of poor crops and a harsh winter. it might be asked? Caesar gave two reasons: Druids were omitted from military service and did not have to pay taxes." The Irish Celts also are said to have washed their faces in the blood of the slain.

Many of Europe's nobility sent their sons and daughters to study in Ireland during this period. Irish Brighid was once abbotess of a pagan sanctuary.. Constant companionships developed such bonds as a driver for his passenger. took her to the sacred square where the rites. There was to be no questioning of their rule or religion. were one and the same. As soon as young men were old enough to bear arms they lived solely among men. the oatmeal pancake was made with much care. Wherever there was no taboo. Her feast day is February 1. lying on animal skins and tumbling around with a lover on either side. especially in Briton and the Western Isles. It was not hard in such a situation to see how latent homo-eroticism could turn into true homosexuality. though. Both were patronesses of poetry. and art or craftsmanship. or Saint Brigit. This was pretty well accomplished by the beginning of the second century AD. There was the darkened area ". they just observed and hid their old and sacred beliefs while observing Christianity as well. being isolated by itself. but her pagan past survived. or a spear-carrier for the warrior. The informant remembered witnessing the rituals as a young girl before the First World War. By ancient Druidic law a man was permitted to have two wives. There is doubt whether the pagan Brighid and Saint Brighid. on the contrary. it was thought natural they should form a likeness for each other. This has important historical significance because during the Dark Ages. During this time Ireland built great schools and libraries at which students could study. Such was seen when Christianity became the official religion of Rome. it amounted to treason. described by Minister James Robertson of the same area. they felt insulted.. which directly coincides to Imbolc. One writer. It seems that the Celtic Druidism lingered on into the twentieth century although there was evidence of it in the centuries before. and most of the Emperors soon saw themselves as godheads. Examples of this were "Achilles loved Patroclus as did Alaxander the Great Hephaestion. An informant of Dr. "They longed instead for the embrace of one of their own sex. the pagan religion seemed to die and enter the Roman temples or churches. there is speculation that the Celtic. There were also sanctuaries or schools for women who became Druid priestesses. Later the Christian church made her Saint Brighid. Drodorus. or she was just a Celtic goddess. Even though the Druids lost much of their power Druidism still lingered on. There are many legends concerning her. says Celtic women were not only as tall as the men. offering their bodies to each other without further ado. so it is difficult to say whether there was a real woman by such a name owning up to all the things attributed to her. Such institutions date back to Druidic times. Anne Ross. The Romans. were not too concerned about Druidism itself during their earlier conflicts with the Celts because Druidism and the Roman religion were both polytheistic therefore they coexisted together." It is also stated that women that bore children were greatly respected and won a high social status. The schools for women eventually in Christian times became schools for the sisterhoods or nuns. Minerva's sanctuary in Briton also was susppose to have contained a perpetual burning fire. Ireland. if there was. This was not regarded as at all harmful. The two goddesses may be thought of as one only by different names according to other writings and legends. Caesar included Minerva among the major deities of Gaul. a native of Perthshire. learning. if they were rejected in their approaches. Brighid and nineteen nuns guarded a perpetually burning sacred fire surrounded by a hedge within which no male could enter. Soon on the surface. was left alone. healing. were performed.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group There is also literature hinting of homosexuality among the warriors." Such behavior was regarded to be the result of their training. It is particularly surprising they attached no value to either dignity or decency. In her description a bonfire was lit. such relationships understandably gave rise to a cult of the male body." The cake was then sliced into -6- . But despite of their charm the young men paid little attention to them. when the Church was busy hunting heretics. Historically the Romans wanted to demolish the military and political strength of the Druids and bring them under the control of the Empire. But like other pagan religions Druidism did not completely die within its practitioners. Therefore. It was at such sanctuaries that men and women studied together. therefore. They trained exclusively with men. which later became Brighid's monastery near Kildare. According to Celtic mythology the Irish Brighid is the equivalent to the Gaulish goddess Minerva. Celtic children were allowed to play what were called "sex games" so they would be familiar with each other bodies when mating. In time of war they were extremely courageous and fought beside of their men. the pagan festival for the celebration of spring. Christianity was monotheistic.'resembling the mark of a huge thumb' appeared. The ancient and emotional beliefs of a culture were hard to destroy. When thinking of Celtic women the name of Brighid must be mentioned. but as courageous as well.

for reasons of which you may read in this link. For this the Druids ritually cursed him. in the -7- . Sewn on the breast of his garment was a lozenge-shaped breastplate. In the early days of the Christian era. "'He was a kind of scapegoat. In the 17th century John Aubrey alleged the Druids constructed Stonehenge. Astrology was used particularly by physicians. was to reflect that. one of the finest barrow cemeteries in Britain. From then on only Christianity was tolerated largely. He was obviously a king or chieftain. The Druids may not have built Stonehenge but it has been significant in their history. were memories with which those fostering the new religion needed to reckon. Being able to read the influence of the planets was a means of discerning divine influence through a creation which was also "in His service. certain magickal practices never died and the attitude of the average European remained very strongly superstitious. with an engraved surface. Traces of Druidism have been discovered throughout the centuries. A half mile south of it is Normanton Down. Apparently. did not believe that such knowledge should be used for divination. Magick and Heathenism fell from favour in the 8th – 9th Centuries. the idea of the universe as reflecting the hand of the Creator remained strong. and indeed saw it as another manifestation of divine power and beneficence. that is. Onlookers drew pieces out of the bag. The Bush Barrow calendar ties in with the Bush Barrow excavation of 1808. a theory that is thought to be inaccurate. However in the 18th century William Stukeley endorsed Aubrey's views and became the first "Arch Druid" and the founder of modern Druidism. he or she would have been sacrificed. the gods of ancient Rome. Since then there have been formations and splitting-ups of Druidic Orders. it is supposed they would not have used it as a burial ground or met there.Astrology and Medicine. if the moon could influence the tides of the ocean. however." Such use of the signs within nature. whose actions had been frequently seen as reflected in those of the planets. 'but in the old days. by contrast with that considered to involve evil spirits. No pain including sickness .'" Dr. The inscriptions indicate his possible burial was 1900 BC. Before 1915 Stonehenge was privately owned and modern Druids met there. when spectators that their meetings attracted stopped their meetings because of the vandalism. and was then driven from the area with shouts and jeers. It will be remembered the Druids met at burial sites. when she witnessed the lighting of the Beltain fires on May Eve under the pretext of burning rubbish. there was no reason to deny that the planets could influence mankind. therefore. predicting the future. would endure for centuries. Medieval Period . Therefore.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group pieces and placed in a bag. but continued meeting there until 1988.would have been viewed as not having an element of the religious. However. In 1915 the owner Cecil Chubb turned it over to the government. Though medieval attitudes would have considered magic to be a way of communing with the devil. one of the foremost theologians of the period. (Thomas. Thomas Aquinas. Ross was told a similar story in Derbyshire in 1977. The person drawing the charred slice had to jump through the fires. With the over turning of a stone in 1900 fees began to be charged. astrology flourished despite the church. There is speculation that the Druids met near Stonehenge.) One cannot understand much of the medieval literature and poetry without acknowledging the influence that concepts of astrology had in its content. Your average medieval Christian was quite comfortable with astrology as a science.' the informant said. A man of considerable height and social status was discovered under the mound eleven feet high. Other aspects of Stonehenge suggest the Druids may have used it to construct their Coligny or Bush Barrow calendar. except in serious cases. There has been much romanticizing about the Druids. 2. whether as a punishment for sin or as a means of sacrifice that would foster virtue. Wiltshire. There also is an element of spirituality that can be seen in the attitude towards some of the principles of astrology.

The popular literature and entertainment of the period. However. John¹s College in Cambridge at the age of 15 in 1542. 1527. Dee was offered a permanent post there. John by James Dilworth John Dee was born in London on July 13. no method of divination is seen as dictating man's actions. long before B. John Dee went to St. Dee. allowing him to give his son a decent education. in welcoming a new soul that was different from any other. (Chaucer's tale. whose minds were focused on divine power. though the Church opposed many of the pagan practises that remained popular amongst the people. as reflected in his creation. but he declined the post to return to England where he had been recommended for the post of Rector of Severn-upon-Severn by Edward VI. The very prohibition against divination was based on the notion that it was a possibility. Such was the nature of magic in the medieval/early renaissance period. giving lectures on Euclid¹s Elements and the basics of Geometry at the Sorbonne. and. Dee said in his translation of Euclid¹s Elements in English that he was regarded as ³a companion of the helhounds (sic). but with the magnificent power of God Himself. Then. the divine mercy could make this an experience of trusting in Him and changing for the better. France then spent some time in Paris. After his return he received a Master of the Arts degree but was soon forced to leave England after being accused of being a conjurer thanks to a machine he built. hardly illustrates that consulting the astrologers was wise!) The concept of the planets influence on us and of divine providence working through this was not questioned. When he returned to England.F. should a lack of its practise lead one from the ways God revealed. The divine art declared that all of the planets would have some influence. he first went to Louvain. with the assurance of a home and steady income. upon the accession of Queen Mary. due to the fact that Lord Morely. shows that concepts of astrology were much a part of the general thought. the planets were not identified with the gods. of course. Such accusations of witchcraft and sorcery plagued Dee all his life.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group Middle Ages. Each situation provided the opportunity to grow in virtue. 3. the divine grace that delighted in this unique individual was accompanied by an entire universe's being part of the tools of this creation. with Geoffrey Chaucer's Miller's Tale being a prime example. where he studied math and astronomy. While performing the duties of Rector. Skinner. he traveled to Holland meeting with many scholars. asked -8- . also known as Bloody Mary in 1553 he was accused of ³using enchantments against the queen¹s life² and imprisoned at Hampton Court. the son of Henry VII. In these days. when each of us came into the world. receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree two years later. a caller and a conjurer of wicked and damned spirits². with some affluence. at this singular time and place. the concept of free will was never denied. Those of the Middle Ages. During his first sojourn away from England. After receiving his first degree. Dee¹s fortunes began to rise upon the accession of Elizabeth I. In 1555 Dee was freed by an act of the Privy Council and he took his liberty. he brought with him the first astronomer¹s staff of brass along with two brass gloves constructed by Gerard Mercator. His father was a vintner and a man of high repute in the court of Henry VIII. Dee exclusively devoted himself to astrological studies. despite his many scientific achievements. could wonder at the thought that. a famous cartographer of that time. The outcome of a situation remains in the control of the intellect and will that was given them when they were created in the ‘ divine image’ . as now. one of the queen¹s favorites. Such influences as the planets (or any other element of creation) may have on the individual's destiny were nothing more than the reflection of divine providence.

claiming that he had the philosopher¹s stone and the elixir vitæ as before. gaining a reputation for being a sensualist. and again in southern Germany. Dee returned to England. Edward Kelly was born in 1555 in the county of Lancashire. only managing to fall and brake two of his ribs and both legs. 1581 Dee first saw spirits while crystal gazing. as well as an astrologer with many people coming to consult his advice. Now. most of which were later destroyed by mobs that thought Dee was familiar with the Devil and was confiscated by the Queen after 1583. but also of devils whose task was to destroy the two men. Dee discovered that he was only able to use the crystal by concentrating his entire mental faculties on the crystal.P Lovecraft¹s Cthulthu Mythos). Concentration of this kind can lead to powerful delusions. and Dee found him in Edward Kelly. that always had eluded him. In 1571. After using the crystal many times. including Albert Laski. According to his diary on May 25. a clear pool of water (the method that Nostradamus used to collect his quatrains) or any transparent object. Dee purchased a mansion at Mortlake on the Thames river where he began a collection of curious books and manuscripts and objects. Nothing is known about his early life. As for the final fate of Kelly. Dee and some Spirits². welcomed by Elizabeth and the court then went back to his home in Mortlake. that frightened both Dee and his family. and the men began to travel about Poland and Bohemia. given to him by the alchemist Jacob Eliezer known as the "Black Rabbi" (this book does exist and was the basis of Kelly and Dee¹s Endochian magic. In about a year. He was also well known as a con man. but after being convicted of counterfeiting. Upon meeting Dee. Dee again went to the Continent for several years. and with the elixir and the spirits. Eventually he was arrested as a heretic and a sorcerer in Prague. the home town of Albert Laski. he was also too trusting. and a deep knowledge of necromancy. Laski invited the two men. Dee is said to have found a copy of the Necronomicon. along with their wives and children to return with him to Poland. Kelly only was interested how it could make him rich. Laski¹s fortune was spent. he seemed to have wondrous visions. Rosicrucian theories and practiced alchemy in hopes of finding the elixir of life and the Philosopher's Stone¹. he saw a vision of the angel Uriel. only deluding himself. from city to city finding new people to dupe. John Dee and Edward Kelly lived in Trebona in Poland. that can lead to insanity and it is generally thought that Dee didn¹t see anything. Dee found he was able to use it for such communications. a mode of divination using a globe. Kelly looked into the convex crystal and nearly every time he did so. But. It became necessary for Dee to have an assistant write down what he saw and heard. he continued to attempt to dupe people in Germany. Soon after. He also became well known as an astronomer. Kelly was famous for claiming to have discovered the Philosopher¹s stone. Dee was so convinced of the truth of these visions that he transcribed them verbatim and they can be found in the book: ³A True and Faithful Relation of what passed between Dr. Then he moved to Worcester. a Polish nobleman. He died in 1593 due to his injuries. In 1581 Dee began to experiment with crystalomancy or crystal gazing. after the second imprisonment he attempted to escape from his prison. His experiments yielded nothing except to impoverish -9- . traveling throughout Europe. and during the following year. For several years after 1583 Dr. The collection included 4000 rare books and 700 choice manuscripts. Shortly after that Dee returned to England along with his family. becoming an apothecary and an alchemist. Dee claimed to have finally found the elixir vitæ in the ruins of Glastonberry Abbey.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group Dee to pick a ³propitious day² for her coronation. he was sentenced to the pillory at Lancaster where he lost his ears. but he studied the Talmud. Elizabeth met Dee and was so impressed with him that she had him give her lessons in astrology. many of which are to be found in the British Museum. who sponsored their alchemical researches. Dee¹s health began to fail and when Kelly and Dee had a falling out because of Kelly's new explorations of a book called The Necronomicon. continuing his search for the philosopher¹s stone. having duped many people. Dee practiced astrology for his living. Crowley¹s The Book of the Law and H. who gave him a convex piece of crystal that would allow communication with the spirit world. so they all went. Although Dee was very intelligent and learned. but he could not write down what he would see during his visions. While Dee sought knowledge for knowledge¹s sake. but not finding as much interest as before. when in Prague Dr. Kelly not only saw visions of angels. These travels went on until 1587. Dee¹s fame spread throughout Europe attracting many curious visitors.

Roman and even Judiac thought became popular and became the subject of a revival of culture. This saw the rebirth of magickal practices by men. NJ Citadel Press 1967 Encyclopædia Brittanica 9th edition vol 7 Edinburgh 1887 Encyclopædia Brittanica 11th edition vol 7 New York 1911 Low. although he was one of the last serious alchemists. Although the Kabbalah is founded on the Torah. It could be said that Dr. Kabala. was one of the keenest minds of his time. Greek. which is the spelling usually preferred by scholars. more than any other thing. Read on: The Kabbalah (also Cabala. the Jewish scriptures and other sacred writings. Elizabeth gave him first the position of chancellor of St. One of the important parts of this. Collin The Necronomicon Anti-FAQ 1995 Spence.10 - . The Kabbalist seeks . Such institutions as the Rosicrucians. the progenitor of modern witchcraft. The term "Kabbalah" itself was first applied to secret mystical teachings in the eleventh century by Iba Gabriol. Golden Dawn. Qabalah) is system of thought which was originally included in Jewish theosophy. Dee was a fortune-teller which gave him the reputation of being a wizard. and has since become applied to all Jewish mystical practice. Francis The Magus Reprint of the 1801 edition Secausus. necromancers and crystal gazers. and the mystic is not to practice it in solitude. Kabbalah. Dr. Seeing his plight. science. a Spanish philosopher. Sources Quoted: Barrett. in extreme poverty. magic and mysticism. 'Kabbalah' is Hebrew for "that which is received" and refers to a secret oral tradition of teaching which extends from teacher to pupil. Freemasons etc owe much to this revival. and in fact. he championed the preservation and the collection of historic documents and he was very well known for being a great astronomer and mathematician. However. magickally speaking is the resurrection of the Kabbalah. philosophy. it was still very ‘ christian’in thought and terminology being rooted in Judaic mysticism. it is no intellectual discipline. despite his apparent delusions. but passed on from the adepts to the initiates. Dee died at the age of 81 in 1608. Paul¹s Cathedral in London and then the wardenship of Manchester College that he held until 1603 when he finally retired to his home for good. Dee petitioned James I in 1604 for protection against such accusation. While he was warden of Manchester College Dee translated his copy of the Necronomicon into English and was never printed. specifically refers to oral mystical teaching not normally revealed to the general population. John Dee. He his credited for making the calculations that would enable England to use the Gregorian calendar. After Dee¹s death the book went into the collection of Elias Ashmole then into the Bodleian Library in Oxford until it was stolen in 1934 Back at Mortlake for good. Replying to them by saying ³that none of all the great number of the very strange and frivolous fables or histories reported and told of him were true². Kabbalah (Western Magickal Tradition)(Cabala) Hermetic schools of philosophy again became popular in Europe during the renaissance. Dee was the one of the first modern scientists. but is to employ it to enlighten humanity. Lewis The Encyclopedia of Occultism New York University Books 1959 4.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group Dee.

Those sharing this 'gnosis' are the elect. for again. then onto a third. This knowledge does not come from rational thinking but is inspired by God. This brilliant light is then reflected onto a second mirror. seems unknowable. who in turn after the Fall taught it to Adam. It is thought that David and Solomon were Kabbalistic adapts. As in Gnosticism. ten in all. each sephirot describes a certain aspect of God. just and unjust. In legend God taught the Kabbalah to some angels. The origin dating of the book is unknown but it is known to have been used in the tenth century. family. how is it possible for humankind to know him? The Kabbalah seems to serve to answer this question in two ways: the first is in the explanation that every idea contains its own contradiction. Moses included the first four books of the Pentateuch. All things. Their reasoning was that the sephiroth was the world. From this first emanation evolved nine more. From this first answer comes the Kabbalah's second answer which indirectly relates God to the world. then. all good and knowing. which contain their contradictions or opposites. and they also are facets of the universe. It is believed the ten sephirots were originally thought as referring to numbers but later representing emanations from which the cosmos was formed. Many of the basic ideas and principles found in the Kabbalah are also found in Gnosticism because both were in the Eastern Mediterranean near the time of Christ. This and other religious teachings exemplify how such teachings can reflect the beliefs of the peoples of the time. Within this concept of the reflection of light lies the Kabbalist's theory for the creation of the world. to Abraham and Moses. leaving out Deuteronomy. Both attach an importance to knowledge. The Elders initiated others into it. The Tree also describes the path by which the divine spirit descended into the material world. they are the enlightened ones who share the knowledge of God. and from himself he sent an emanation. in the Kabbalah before he initiated seventy Elders into it. and so on. The Kabbalah was to help humankind to return to God. Another basic teaching shared by Gnosticism and the Kabbalah was that the divine spirit. and the path by which humankind must take to ascend to God. Therefore. Therefore God is both good and evil. The book tells that God created the world by the means of thirty-two secret paths of knowledge which are the ten "sephirots" and the twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. This was a prevalent theory shortly after time of Christ within the Mediterranean area. The first nine sephirots form three triangles with the sephiroth with the tenth sephirot forming the foundation or base.ning there was just God. Such as why does the world possess both good and evil characteristics when it was created by a God Who is all good? Why is the world finite when it was created by an infinite God? Similar questions which are asked concerning the world can also be asked of humankind. called the "sephiroth. Those who have adopted the Kabbalistic teachings have modified these latter aims. unites humankind to God--to know God is to be God. God is seen as a mirror from which shines a brilliant light. or universe. The origin of the Kabbalah centers around a short book titled "Sefer Yetzirah" (Book of Creation). unite to form a greater whole which is God. merciful and cruel. had descended from God and became trapped in the human body or matter. The knowledge. Each of the ten emanations within the sephiroth is called a "sephirot. With each succeeding reflection the light loses some of its brilliancy until when it finally reaches the finite world it shines very dimly. the sephiroth are the facets or parts of God. sin is not considered to be wrong doing but ignorance which separates humankind from God. then to a fourth. The Kabbalists share similar goals as did the Gnostics: each group set out to answer the religious paradoxical questions of life. Of all of the questions concerning God's relationship with the world and humankind. but may have been composed as early as the third century. and taken together as the sephiroth they form the sacred name of God. In the begin. and God is the world. When meditating upon the sephiroth the Kabbalist can concentrate upon any one of the three images which the . This Tree is the central image of Kabbalistic meditation.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group two things: an union with God while maintaining a social. or the soul. although they may not lead perfect lives. and communal life within the framework of traditional Judaism. called the 'gnosis' or the knowledge of God. there seems to be one ultimate question: God. by his very nature of being infinite. unknowable and knowable. often described as light." and together they form what is called the Tree of Life. Eventually the oral tradition ended and the knowledge was written down. and God Who is the sum of all ideas contains all contradictions. specifically the 'gnosis'.11 - . limitless and limited. It then passed to Noah." The ancient Kabbalists taught that the brilliant lights of the sephiroth constitute the sacred name of God.

and Assirah. with the top two corres. victory. The triangles also depict the human body: the first triangle is the head. here the patterns are expressed. from which come all manifestation of forms. and things closely related to God were within the next outer layers. Because each sephirot is said to be divided into four sections that run the Four Worlds that compose the cosmos. This was generally how the world was viewed from ancient times to the sixteenth century. From it came such techniques as gematria.12 - . beauty. contemplation and meditation. It is only through the attainment of knowledge that the spirit can escape its material confinement. Yetzirah. Each sephirot is guarded by angels who determinedly try to turn climbers back on their ascent to God. is made up of ten sephirots instead of nine which is due to the influence of the Pythagorean theory. It moved into Spain where it was developed more extensively by the Spanish Hebrews. the second triangle represents the development of the world and child. rigor Tiphareth. Adonai and Jehovah are substituted in scripture for it. the supreme crown. There were many modifications and interpretations made of the Kabbalah through the centuries. harmony Netzach. Earth has a separate sphere to itself. Briah. the third being the legs and reproductive organs which is based on the analogy of the relation between man and God. The accomplishment of ascending from one sephirot to the next is an attainment of knowledge. The spiritual soul of humankind descended from the outer layer. The second description of the sephiroth pictures the world or universe made up of layers. The images are analogous to God's relationship to humakind and the world. In the tenth century the practi. kingdom (world) With the help of the sephiroth humankind ascends to God by gaining the meaning of each sephirot one at a time. The first triangle represents in impregnation of the female by the male thus creating the world and child. splendor Yesod. foundation Malkuth.cal Kabbalah was introduced in Italy and then spread to Germany. which is based on the theory of the soul's descent from and ascent to God.ponding to the stars and the Prime Mover or God. notarikon and temura. The development progressed until the Jews seemed to lose their spirituality. Also within the sephirot is the sacred. or outer skins such as surrounding an onion. The Kabbalah. The letters YHVH correspond to the Four Worlds. wisdom Binah. the world of creation. or the Tetragrammaron. understanding Chesed. to the inner layer. God was thought to reside in the outer layer. The most inner layer of this configuration contained the material world. unknowable and unspeakable name of God: YHVH (Yahweh). An illustration of the sephiroth or Tree of Life is as follows: Kether. In it was contained ecstatic practices.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group triangles are said to represent. Making one's way through the sephiroth is exceedingly difficult. force Hod. or God. the second is the trunk and arms. On the bottom sephirots there are plenty sinister intelligences who can easily trapped a soul in ignorance. The Kabbalist hold that some persons can achieve an union with God even before death. They are Aziluth. The Tetragrammaron is so sacred that other names pertaining to God such as Elohim. or the material world. strength. France. (God) Chokmah. the world of form. magic rituals and mainly techniques of prayer. mercy. and the third triangle is the adult person or the finished product of the world. especially the soul in humankind. the material world. Above this the next seven sephirots correspond to the planets. greatness Geburah. The thirteenth century saw the birth of the classical Kabbalah in Provence. here the archetypal ideas become patterns. The primary work was the "Sefer ba-Zohar (Book of Splendor). Then after a year in a cave meditating . This onion-skin configuration of the world is definitely shared with Gnosticism whose chief teaching was that the divine spirit was entrapped in matter. the world of archetypes.

authoritarian mother who tears down what Chesed builds up. because as the moon is the ruler of the night and the light of the darkness. The results may not be produced by the best assets within a person. The opposing sephirot is Hod (female) which contains the good qualities of imagination." The nine sephirots configured the three triangles in the sephiroth with the tenth forming the base. The three principles with each sephirot are aligned from right to left because Hebrew is written from right to left. Tiphareth can be both the warming sun that gently shines on humankind. Yesod is the potential magic power within oneself bringing together the magician's highest mental abilities and the animal or sexual drive to succeed at what he wishes to accomplish. insight and intutition which the Kabbalists admire. sometimes called forces. the passive Understanding of God. So within the struggle between Netzach and Hod Yesod bring about the best results. The chief aim of humankind is to achieve complete union with the Divine. and nothing is independent of everything else. God is unknowable beyond representation. These traits are thought to stand for the all-enduring drives of Nature which allow humankind to act naturally instead of by contrivance. the male principle. the Zohar describes God as "Em-Sof" ("without end"). The male principle is always on the right side or at the top of each triangle while the female principle is always on the left side or at the bottom of the triangle. modern Kabbalists say that it is the thrusting and compliance between these opposing principles which brings about creation. Tiphareth. and the harmonizing sephirot between Netzach and Hod. Sexually mature Yesod is able to produce both sexually and mentally. The principle residing between each male and female principle is thought to be bisexual. by elevating their souls to unite with God.13 - . The female principles are said to be a combination of good traits which are joined with evil or ominous ones which makes the female principle complex. He created the world out of himself. also tender and cruel. is often compared to the sun. that combines the characteristics of both Chesed and Geburah. Each has the male (a positive) and female (a negative) principle with a milder principle between them to create a balance between the two. In general the male principles. Kether is the harmonizing principle which keeps a balance between the two. The functions of Tiphareth. in the sphere of the sun. the female principle. There has been a symbolic association between Christ and the sun since the earliest days of Christianity. it can be both passionate and cold. it is in the sphere of the moon. Tiphareth is the life-force which brings forth physical life as Christ is said to give the promise of eternal life. and let the ordinary people go on their way. For instance. For example in the first triangle Chokmah. But. Each principle functionally participates according to its characteristics or nature. The feminine principle can be both passive and active at times. are frequently compared to those of Nature. which serves to harmonize the opposites. The triangles may be aligned vertically or horizontally. and it can also be the fierce heat which suffocates humankind and kills animals and crops." the teachings recorded by disciples. Yesod is the child fully grown. Also. but Hod also had the powers of reason and logic which are distrusted by the Kabbalist. The third triangle represents the child's emergence into adulthood. These principles are thought of as the Father and Mother respectively. "Thus human beings. Chiefly. Chokmah. . also called the active Wisdom of God. Netzach (male) is said to represent the Endurance and the Victory of God. Christian Kabbalists compare Christ to Tiphareth for Tiphareth is thought of as the son of Kether (God) as being directly descended from it on the Tree. Geburah (female) is the strict. Yesod is the dark depths of personality which often lie hidden but suffice. Yesod is thought to be the link between Tiphareth (the sun or the life-force) and Malkuth (the earth or the body). are characterized as being positive. the first triangle embodies Kether. also elevate all other entities in the cosmos. From this revelation seemed to have developed the "Zohar. Chokmah and Binah. All things are reflected in a higher world. Reasoning is thought to repress humankind's natural abilities. Chesed (male) is the kind and merciful father who guides and protects the child. dynamic or thrusting. In the second triangle where the father. Geburah and Tiphareth. inspiration. is opposed by Binah. The balancing principle in this triangle is Tiphareth.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group upon this situation a rabbi heard a voice which told him to teach those ready to learn. mother and child are represented the sephirots are Chesed. beasts and crops. active. acts upon Binah. Its sephirots symbolize the struggle between the forces of animality and mentality.

who said he was a prophet and the reincarnation of Louis XVII. Ganneau's was claimed she was the reincarnation of Marie Anntoinette. Sulpice. Viewing such an attitude from the present day viewpoint one might say that their idea of God is even different from that of the average person's. Aleister Crowley adapted the ranks or grades in his magical organization. A typical clear. one can see the distinct difference of attitude between the Kabbalist and the rest of the world.14 - . to the average person God does the restricting. old man named Ganneau. in which the man claimed that the vital energy of the body was controlled by the Devil. he was considered to be more of a commentator on the subject than an adept even though he professed to have practiced necromancy several times. This is appropriate because within Earth are found all things of God. up and down. reason and logic are distrusted. The same can be said of the Gnostic. Here the opposites compliment each other to produce the writing or drawing. The one daughter from the married died very young. Levi. Also encouraging this curiosity was his head master's concept of animal magnetism. Constant became a follower of Ganneau and was drawn deeper into the worlds of magic and the occult. Being born in Paris. but not too magical. to correspond to the sephirots of the sephiroth. He married Noemie Cadot. For a time Constant lived from his writings and giving lessons in the occult. For his writings he served three short jail sentences. All ideas and their contradictions are found on Earth. It was during this time he took the name of . He showed intelligence and was educated at the church of St. Within both of these teachings. The Kabbalistic idea that God contains all ideas and their contradictions definitely forms the bases for the magical laws of polarity and synthesis. The Christian Kabbalah is said to have been used to prove the divinity of Christ. no older that 18. and particularly in the struggle between Netzach and Hod. a French occultist who is credited for reviving interest in magic in the 19th century. the A. Nonetheless. The reasons given for such distrust is similar: that they inhibit the abilities of natural man. He was quickly attracted to an eccentric. Constant was the son of a shoemaker.A. or is it the person who makes God do the restricting? The Kabbalah has been accepted into Western occult ceremonies and practices. Both laws are based on the theoretical assumption that all ideas or conceptions contain their opposites. It is therefore the kingdom of God because every principle found with each of the sephirots is found within Earth. It requires a white or light background to bring out the illustrious nature of the black ink. In the sixteenth century symbols of alchemy were embodied into the Christian Kabbalah. and vice versa. 5. To Kabbalists and Gnostics God does not restrict man but lets him improve himself through knowledge. or Astrum Argentium.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group Malkuth being the base of the sephiroth or Tree is the Earth. The marriage broke up in 1853 and was annulled in 1865.As a young boy he quickly became intrigued with magic and the occult. Eliphas (1810-1875) The pseudonym for Alphonse Louis Constant. right and left. examples of these are: white and black. The Kabbalah has also been related to numerology. Constant pursued the ecclesiastical studies and became a priest.. the Silver Star. the Kabbalah and Gnosticism. the Tarot and astrology although some criticize the relationship is not a perfect match. in 1846. Whereas. It might be noted that within the third triangle. illustration is that a black ink pen does not show up too good on a black or dark colored background. The essence of each thing also contains the essence of its opposite. His career in the priesthood was short lived because of his left-winged political writings and he found it impossible to keep his vow of chastity. Although Levi studied magic.

" but Levi never disclosed the questions. which perhaps Bulwer-Lyttom may have organized. His first and probably most important work was The Dogma and Ritual of High Magic. a former member. He never vocally asked his questions. Levi gave a description of the ritual. When feeling himself ready for the ritual. that studied scrying. Bulwer-Lytton wrote The Last Days of Pompeii and other occult books helping to make magic fashionable to the last of the 19th century. a great. astrology. astral light was similar to either. He placed a table covered with white lambskin in the center of this room. Levi also proclaimed a theory of astral light based on his belief in animal magnetism. He asked the ghost to appear. everywhere in the world. of the tarot . Agreeing to try the conjuration Levi went about his preparations which included two weeks on a vegetarian diet. he dawn white robes and entered his magic chamber that had mirrors on the walls. Levi was frightened and felt extremely cold. The apparition touched Levi's ritual sword causing his arm to suddenly go numb. He saw an apparition in one of the mirrors. and mesmerism. This concept was not original but held by others in the 19th century. He progressively grew colder as he proceeded deeper into the ritual. Some experts called this a significant endeavor while others claimed it to be ignorant. Levi devoted 22 chapters to the 22 trump cards. It was followed by A History of Magic. was born the year that Levi died and claimed to be the reincarnation of Levi. a fluidic life force that fills all space and living beings. adopted much of Levi's magic. founded in London in1888. Levi's writings have been appraised as being highly imaginative but not very accurate. Until his death Levi made his living from his occult writings and lessons that he taught. Aliester Crowley. In his popularity he drew a cult following. thin and sad and wrapped from head to foot in a gray shroud. After some twelve hours the floor beneath him began to shake. Levi stated. Then he began his incantations which lasted for twelve hours. The Key of Great Mysteries. a skilled magician's will was limitless in power.A brief history of Modern Magic Magus Eliphas Levi. As Levi related his arm was sore for days after the event. On his third request a grayish spirit appeared in front of him. a week of fasting." In The Dogma.15 - . On the table he placed two metal bowls in which he lit fires. Transcendental Magic. and to aspects of God. "To control the astral light was to control all things. but in other rituals claimed he conjured Apollonius several times. or Major Arcana. magic. which included meditation about Apollonius and imagining having conversations with him. ancient magician. In turn he influenced another writer and occultist Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Logan City Study Group His first attempt at practicing necromancy came during a trip to London in 1854. A mysterious woman. In his theory. They both became members of an occult group." Levi stated he was influenced by an earlier writer and occultist Francis Barrettt. Levi remained unconvinced that he conjured Apollonius in that particular ritual. the Hebrew equivalents of his first and middle names. The answers. He linked each to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. They were fixed in his mind and the apparition answered them telepathically. influencing others to write their own books. Levi dropped the sword and lost consciousness. The imaginative criticism arose from the fact that Levi "believed in the existence of a universal `secret doctrine' of magic throughout history. he revealed were "death" and "dead. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. asked him to conjure the spirit of Apollonius of Tyana. . with whom he visited in London in 1861. and other occult books. claiming to be an adept.

Sri Ram.G. There are over 150 branches. Waite. The second and third influences were the Theosophical Socirty and G. Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn An organization exerting one of three most significant influences on Western occultism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Shaw). Yeats.H. 7. Its name was furnished by Charles Sotheran who was of independent means. The direction of the society was claimed to be directed by the secret Mahatmas or Masters of Wisdom. philosophies and sciences. I. At Wheaton there is a Reference and Lending Library. studying and making known the ancient religions. Woodford. Alfred A. The manuscript appeared to be old although probably it was not. Arthue Machen. and a student of the kabbalah. The three objectives of the Theosophical Society are (1) to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group 6. Its secretary was Helena P. Priestess of the Occult: Madame Blavatsky. 1980. P. Putman's Sons. F. caste. The society's policy is one of complete freedom of individual search and belief. C. Ill. Marion. a London coroner and a Rosicrucian. Its co-founders were Henry Steele Olcott and William Q. L. and in the 1970's N. Aleister Crowley. Sources: 9. . (2) to encourage the study of comparative religion. A. G. The headquarters of the American Theosophical Society is in Wheaton. As a secret society the organization's membership included some of the most distinguished and talented personalities of the times such as W. Following Olcott the successive international presidents were Annie Besant. India. with his Hermetic knowledge Westcott deciphered the manuscript and discovered it contained fragments of mystical rituals of the "Golden Dawn" an unknown organization which admitted both men and women. Williams. A. a Mason. In 1882 the international headquarters was established in Adyar. A. B. a high Mason. MacGregor Mathers. Florence Farr (mistress of G. Meade. creed. who in 1887 obtained part of a manuscript that was written in brown-ink cipher from a Reverend A. B. E. S. found the word theosophy. Israel Regardie. Madras. However. Gertrude Marvin. The Society publishes The American Theosophist a monthly magazine.16 - . New York. Dublin). Knopf. or color. and investigating the laws of nature and divine powers latent in man. (3) to investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man. Its key founder was Dr. The Theosophy Society in America 61. Gurdjieff. a word that was unanimously agreed on at the next meeting because it seemed to express esoteric truth as well as covering the aspects of occult scientific research. Some claim the society's basis is dubious. Blavatsky who was the actual instigator of the organization. philosophy. Joy Mills. William Wynn Westcott. G. Judge. Armdale. and science. S. and many others. Madame Blavatsky: The Woman Behind the Myth. with national organizations in more than 60 countries by the 1970's. Jinarajadasa. Sotheran looking through a dictionary. Annie Horniman (who sponsored the Abbey Threatre. Theosophical Society The society was formed in September 1875. New York. After its establishment the Theosophical Society expounded the esoteric tradition of Buddhism aiming to form an universal brotherhood of man. sex. Algernon Blackwood. both of which were goals of the Society. 1946. a Rosicrucian.

Allegedly this led to magical warfare between the two men. He did attempt to restore order to the society. and to be under the direction of the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order who were entities of the astral plane. he went to Paris and compelled Mathers to initiate him into the Second Order to which Mathers complied. This secret society attracted many members and between 1888 to 1896 315 initiations were performed. Horiman stopped her financial support of Mathers in l896. Crowley considered himself a superior magician compared to Mathers. Woodman died in 1891 and was never replaced in the organization. with a eleventh degree for neophytes. he claimed. Mathers received no compensation for his efforts. The staged attempt was in vain. Crowley retaliated by publishing some of the Golden Dawn in his magazine. At first. but. and gilt dagger. Most of the rituals which Mathers produced were based on Freemasonry. Annie Horniman. for it was rebuffed.17 - . and Third orders. The Secret Chiefs of the Third Order were equivalent to the fanciful Mahamas of the Theosophical Society who could also be contacted in the astral plane. After the expulsion . Crowley returned to England as Mathers' "Envoy Extraordinary. After this latter attack was launched against the quarters of the Second Order the London lodge expelled both men. Woodman. This. became their benefactor. He never consummated his marriage to his wife. Highland dress. Among the papers contained within the manuscript was a slip of paper bearing the name of Fraulein Anna Sprengel. Subsequently selected candidates that passed the Adeptus Minor grade might qualiy for admission to the Second Order. Many thought Mathers a little eccentric if not a lunatic. Due to unstable finances he and his wife were penniless in 1891. he was obssessed with an autocratic jealousy toward Westcott. Mathers devoted considerable time to translation of the manuscript The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage which he claimed was bewitched and inhabited by a nonphysical intelligence. who. Second.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group Westcott approached his occultist friend Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers who he asked to transform the ritual fragments into expanded and systematized rituals. By this time. the authenticity of this establishment of the English order has been suspect. It has been suggested the character on Fraulein Sprengel might have been mythologized by Westcott in order to fabricate the correspondence which established the new secret society. Westcott. but it was so splintered that Yeats' efforts were nearly fruitless. The next year. Then W. Prevalent in-fighting is recorded among the prominent members of the Golden Dawn. This led to the resignation of his position to be succeeded by Florence Farr. The Equinox. The structured hierarchy of The Golden Dawn was based upon the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah: there were ten grades or degrees corresponding to the ten sephiroth. were the three Chiefs Second Order. However. The degrees were divided into the Outer. Yeats assume control of the Second Order. a Rosicrucian adept living in Germany. received teachings from the Secret Chiefs through clairaudience and supernormal hearing. Yeats played a prominent part in the conflict between Crowley and Mathers. In 1897 members discovered Westcott's questionable activities in founding the society. Eventually both Crowley and Mathers were thrown out of the society as a result of the uneasy alliance between them which deteriorated. 1899. rejected this initiation. However a rich member of the Golden Dawn. W. also. This allowed the couple to move to Paris where Mathers establish another lodge. Mathers. He continued writing curricula material which he sent to London. was known as the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (Order of the Red Rose and Cross of Gold). Crowley wore a black mask. In 1898 Aleister Crowley was initiated into the society and progressed rapidly through the degrees. under Farr. and Dr." in 1900. irreparable schisms had formed within the Golden Dawn. attempting to control the quarters of the Second Order. This translation was published in 1898. However. Mathers produced the initiation ritual for the Adeptus Minor degree. In that year. Mina. The London lodge. Crowley then counterattacked with an army of demons led by Beelzebub. Mathers sent an astral vampire to attack Crowley. Mathers claimed the Secret Chiefs had initiated him into the Third Order. Through correspondence with this woman Westcott obtained her permission to organized the English branch of the occult society Die Goldene Dammerung (The Golden Dawn). Supreme Magus of the Rosicrucian Society of Anglia. R. Such was the arrangement of the hierarchy of the Isis-Urania Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn established in 1888. B. which Horniman disputed and was expelled from the society.

England. who had been Crowley's one-time secretary. astrology.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group of both men Yeats took charge of the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis and also became the Imperator of the Isis-Urania Temple Outer Order." Members circulated various Catholic and Anglican writings and sermons. qabalah. Waite left with others to form a society retaining the Golden Dawn name but with more emphasis on mysticism than magic. alchemy. and Crowley left England to travel extensively throughout the East. and its influence on the development of modern western occultism was profound. There are some distant offshoots of the Golden Dawn still around. but eventually suffer internal dissensions because their system of instruction and development does not fundamentally change the character of the members. It had many notable members (including A." This was the end of the Isis-Urania Temple. the Prophetic Books of William Blake. Waite. E. the "Master of Masters. Basically the talented and psychologically adjusted individuals strive to enhance their talents and achievements. The Eastern initiations incorporate various yoga systems which purify and perfect the individual. Three magical systems were taught: the Key of Solomon. and Enochian magic. With all the splintering within the Golden Dawn it was not long until various groups were forming. 8. They attract members of high intellectual and mystical caliber. alchemy. a grimoire.L. and they went to Egypt on their honeymoon. There he learned and practiced the mental and physical disciplines of yoga. Aleister grew up with a thorough biblical education and an equally thorough disdain of Christianity. the Tarot. Edward Alexander (Aleister) Crowley [rhymes with "holy"] was born October 12. After returning to Cairo in early 1904. Crowley married Rose Kelly. and other hermetic subjects. Rose (who until this point had shown no interest or familiarity with the occult) began entering trance states and insisting . love under will. or "Order of the Companions of the Rising Light in the Morning. but there is no elimination of the defects and weaknesses of others which will inevitably weaken the organizational structure. As a result. Here a comparison of Eastern and Western initiations may be made. Love is the law. Regardie did not include these in the materials which he published. and proceeded to climb up rapidly through the grades. 1875 in Leamington Spa. scrying. In 1903. supplementing his knowledge of western-style ritual magick with the methods of Oriental mysticism. geomancy. who was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Shortly thereafter he was introduced to George Cecil Jones. Western initiations do not include this essential preliminary training. The rise and fall of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is thought. But in 1900 the order was shattered by schism. Abra-Melin magic. and the Chaldean Oracles. Also. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. His parents were members of the Plymouth Brethren. In 1905 another splinter group formed known as the Stella Matutina. Yeats). During its glory. MacGregor Mathers which taught magick." Some Christian fundamentals were included in various texts of the society such as establishing a closer relationship with Jesus. E. B. and W. leaving just before completing his degree. Dion Fortune. and astrology. It was resurrected in 1917 as the Merlin Temple of the Stella Matutina which lasted until the 1940s when it went into decline following the publication of its secret rituals by a former member Israel Regardie. by some. Crowley was initiated into the Golden Dawn in 1898. The Golden Dawn was an occult society led by S. Instruction was given in astral travel.18 - . whereas. tarot. materials were incorporated from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn possessed one of the greatest repositories of Western magical knowledge. He attended Trinity College at Cambridge University. to portray the history of many occult groups. a strict fundamentalist Christian sect. The main purpose of the order was "to prosecute the Great Work: which is to obtain control of the nature and power of [one's] own being. The studies of the Second Order focused on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. Followers of Mathers formed the Alpha et Omega Temple. In 1903 A.

T." The modern Wiccan movement." by most people today. Crowley was especially impressed by the fact that this piece was numbered 666 by the museum. However. Gardner's grandfather marred a woman who was supposedly a Witch and some of his distant relatives assumedly possessed psychical abilities.'.19 - . Wicca WICCA: A word of somewhat unknown origin and meaning. Crowley spent the rest of his life working to develop and establish Thelemic philosophy. As a test. and Alan Gardner. was born in Blundellands." it is usually pronounced. Then in 1910 Crowley was contacted by Theodore Reuss. or The Book of the Law. This book heralded the dawning of the new aeon of Horus. Some sources claim the word Wicca is derived from a word meaning "to bend. Gardner (q. and in the orders A. In 1906 Crowley rejoined George Cecil Jones in England. on June 13. The upshot was that he began to listen to Rose. They called this order the (Astron Argon or Astrum Argentium or Silver Star). on three successive days beginning April 8.O. The family was of Scottish descent. began with the writings of Gerald B. who later earned distinction as the commander-in-chief of the Channel Fleet who helped to . tracing its roots to a woman named Grissell Gardner who had been burned as a Witch in 1610 at Newburgh. a number with which he had identified since childhood. where they set about the task of creating a magical order to continue where the Golden Dawn had left off. The order also became independent of Freemasonry (although still based on the same patterns) and opened its membership to women and men who were not masons. a priest named Ankh-af-na-khonsu. England. Apparently Crowley agreed. Crowley took Rose to the Boulak Museum and asked her to point out Horus to him.) is said to have evolved from. an English hereditary Witch and allegedly responsible for reviving Witchcraft in the modern Western world. he entered his chamber at noon and wrote down what he heard dictated from a shadowy presence behind him. 1947.). the "wise ones. 1904." A follower of modern day Wicca is called a "Wiccan. As the prophet of this new aeon. which was taught in its highest degrees. which would be governed by the Law of Thelema. She passed several well-known images of the god and led Aleister straight to a painted wooden funerary stele from the 26th dynasty. and it became the primary vehicle for the transmission of Crowley's mystical and magical training system based on the principles of Thelema.T.) and Doreen Valiente. a) Gerald B. his legacy lives on in the Law of Thelema which he brought to mankind (along with dozens of books and writings on magick and other mystical subjects). being a member of a family in the timber trade business. and eventually taking over as head of the order when Reuss suffered a stroke in 1921." as in the ability of members of this faith to be able to bend. The result was the three chapters of verse known as Liber AL vel Legis.v.T. "Wee-Kah. or shape their consciousness and thus reality to their wills. "Witch. It is the word from which the term.O. 1884." Thus. Crowley reformulated the rites of the O. "Thelema" is a Greek word meaning "will".) wrote two books that prefaced this modern movement in the 1920's. which continue to advance the principles of Thelema to this day. depicting Horus receiving a sacrifice from the deceased. as a formal religion and philosophy. the head of an organization based in Germany called the Ordo Templi Orientis (O. Gardner's family tree included as well mayors of Liverpool. and vested the organization with its main purpose of establishing Thelema in the world. to conform them to the Law of Thelema. Another source claims the word Wicca came from a word meaning "wise. a naval commander and later vice admiral and peer.O. This group of high-ranking Freemasons claimed to have discovered the supreme secret of practical magick. "Wick-Kah.v. and the Law of Thelema is often stated as: "Do what thou wilt". Aleister Crowley died in Hastings. near Liverpool.v. Gardner (1884-1964) Gerald Brousseau Gardner. and at her direction.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group to her husband that the god Horus was trying to contact him. A." (q. or shape.'. in the mid 1950's. Anthropologist Margaret Murry (q. 9. England on December 1. those who follow the path of Wicca are called. His father served as a justice of the peace. Although properly pronounced.O.T. and O. becoming a member of O.

Five members of the coven died shortly afterwards. which was published in Singapore in 1939. Logan City Study Group Gerald was the second of three sons. presumably in one of the Old George Pickingill's covens. The book established Gardner as the world authority on the kris. He was fascinated by the ritual daggers and knives.This group had established "The First Rosicrucian Theater in England. an occult group of Co-Masons. Through the introduction of Arnold Crowther Gardner met Aleister Crowley in 1946. whose family members had practiced a craft for centuries. He and his wife lived in the New Forest region. customs official and inspector of opium establishments. The novel is set in Cyprus and is concerned with the worship of The Goddess as Aphrodite in the year 1450 BC. which took Gardner into its confidence.(see Cone of power). and was reprinted posthumously in 1973. Members in this group claimed to be hereditary Witches. a magical order of which at one time Crowley held leadership. and wrote Kris and Other Malay Weapons. Their deaths were blamed on the power drained from them during the ritual. especially the Malaysian kris. This group met in the New Forest.20 - . She eventually married a man in Ceylon and took Gerald with her.A brief history of Modern Magic prevent the invasion of Napoleon in 1807. In 1927 he married an Englishwoman Donna who returned to England with him upon his retirement from working for the government in 1936. daughter of the Theosophist Annie Besant (see Theosophical Society)." which presented plays having occult themes. Gardner was nitiated into the coven by the high priestess Old Dorothy Clutterbuck. felt his health had been adversely affected. A Goddess Arrives (1939). There he worked on a tea plantation. During this time young Gerald found much time for reading since he was often by himself while Com roamed Europe. Between 1923 and 1936 Gardner was employed by the British government in the Far East as a rubber plantation inspector. It remains the standard on the subject. himself. and such practice had not been interrupted by the witch hunts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. In England. joined with other Witches in southern England on July 31 (Lummas Eve). Crowley made Gardner a honorary member of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). Gardner met people who introduced him into Witchcraft. Crowley had once practiced Witchcraft. (see Reincarnation) This was the background for his second book. a wavy blade dagger. It was in Cyprus that he saw things which he had previously dreamed about which convinced him that he had previously lived there in another life. including Gardner. He claimed to have discovered the site of the ancient city of Singapura. The coven. In this group Gardner met a member who claimed they had been together in a previous life in Cyprus and described a site that Gardner had envisioned when dreaming. where Gardner was involved with the Fellowship of Crotona. According to Patricia . and just days before World War II began in 1i939. Within the Fellowship of Crotona was another. which he might incorporate into his own. a Masonic order established by Mrs. While in the Far East Gardner became acquainted with the natives and familiar with their spiritual beliefs. There is speculation that Gardner asked Crowley information about Craft rituals. to perform a ritual to prevent Hitler's forces from invading England. secret group. Besant Scott. He made considerable money in rubber which allowed him to dabble in his great interest of archaeology. 1940. and suffered severely with asthma when young. Gardner. Then much of Gardner's time was spent on archaeological trips throughout Europe and Asia Minor. To alleviate his condition his nurse Josephine "Com" McCombie convinced his parents to permit him to travel with her in Europe during the winter. which influenced him more than Christianity. before World War II. Later he worked in Borneo and Malaysia.

Crowther and Jack L. G. Gerald Gardner: Witch (1960). So his novel High Magic's Aid concerning Witchcraft was published in 1949.His burial was in Tunis. Gardner and Valiente collaborated through the years of 1954 to 1957 on writing ritual and nonritual material." thus most of Crowley's work was subsequently deleted through rewriting of the material. He freshen rituals with his own work. Witchcraft Today. This was shortly before Gardner was to leave for Lebanon. It was in 1953 that Gardner initiated Doreen Valiente into his coven. Other beneficiaries of his estate were Patricia C. it is known that Gardner admired and was influenced by Crowley. Bracelin. advising Gardner that Growley's material was inappropriate because it was "too modern. In 1959 he published his final book. It would be Buckland who would introduce the Gardnerian tradition to America. The book supports the theory of the British anthropologist Margaret A. Gardner desired to. In 1954 Gardener published his first nonfiction book about Witchcraft. He was not interested in exploiting his fame for money and personal glory. but there is no evidence suggesting that Crowley gave him any specific Craft material. The body or work.Crowther. Buckland was initiated into the Craft by Gardner's high priestess Monique Wilson (Lady Olwen). adding quotations and extracts from Crowley's work. an Englishman who had moved to America. because at the time Witchcraft was still against English law. but not exceptional. Wilson and her husband kept the museum opened for a short time while holding weekly coven meetings in Gardner's cottage. Eventually the museum was closed and most of its contents were sold to the Ripley organization. Gardner became the "resident Witch" and added his personal substantial collection of ritual tools and artifacts. Williamson had originally named it the Folklore Centre and intended it to become a center for currently practicing Witches. but was kept from publicly writing about the survival of Witchcraft.21 - . his ritual tools and objects. Gardner bequeathed the museum. February 13. and he began suffering from asthma. wife of Crowther. In the same year he traveled to the Isle of Man. but the Goddess was not mentioned. at a Buckingham Palace garden party Gardner was recognized for his distinguished civil service work in the Far East. The coven's rituals were virtually identical to those that Gardner described in High Magic's Aid. The work included rituals which he had learned from his coven. on which was a Museum of Magic and Witchcraft which had been established by Cecil Williamson and housed in a 400-year-old Craft farmhouse. 1964. When the law against witchcraft was repealed in 1951 Gardner broke from the New Forest coven to form his own coven. under the pseudonym Scire. Murray wrote the introduction to the book. During the same year his wife died. Gardner purchased the museum from Williamson. The book's immediate success gave emphasis for new covens rising up throughout England. magical powers. who authored an authoritative biography of Gardner." a title he did not seek. became the authority for what is currently known as the Gardnerian tradition. which dispersed the objects to various museums. In the winter of 1963 he met Raymond Buckland. In his coven Gardner reworked his material since the material which he inherited from his first coven was only fragmentary. that modern Witchcraft is the surviving remnant of organized Pagan religion which existed during the witch hunts. and the worship of the Horned God.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group C. Those in the Craft knowing him called him "G. Doreen Valiente described Gardner as a man "utterly without malice. The Meaning of Witchcraft. Gardner died aboard ship when returning from Lebanon on the morning of February 12. In his will. notebooks and the copyrights to his books to Wilson. In 1960. B. Gardner suddenly found himself in the spotlight. Due to his numerous media appearances the press referred to him as "Britain's Chief Witch." who was generous to a fault and who possessed some real. Valiente somewhat discouraged this. or Book of Shadows." . Murray.

Mary Biddy. partly because of modern conditions. but the marriage quickly deteriorated and Doreen took the children and left Sanders when he was 26.. was to attract young people to the Old Religion. After this came the period when Sanders life a life of the "left-handed-path" after having drifted from one low-level job to another and had sexual affairs with both men and women. The cult is doomed." who became one of his familiars. I am afraid. As a youth he found her one day standing naked in the middle of a circle. As he did so. He knows witches are all bunk. He founded his first coven and attracted media attention which brought him more followers.. "You are one of us now. When doing so she told him that she was an hereditary Witch. They had two children. His father was a dance-hall entertainer and suffered from alcoholism. He became an analytical chemist in a laboratory in Manchester. Sanders said his grandmother. b) Sanders. housing shortage. nineteen-year-old Doreen. He worshipped the Devil for awhile and studied Abra-Melin magic. The Craft continues to grow and spread more than he ever could have envisioned. But as Michael matured he became a valuably spirit familiar in channeling and healing matters. She told him to take his clothes off and enter the circle with her. He discovered his own gifts of clairvoyance and healing by touch. He felt Witchcraft was primarily to older people who when dying would let the Craft die with them. saying. she took a knife and nicked his scrotum. Paul and Janice.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group One of his missions. initiated him into Witchcraft. but reappeared later to take Sanders over in his channeling. He married a co-worker. and told him to put his head down between his thighs. Supposedly Michael forcibly made Sanders carry on at wild parties. the oldest of six children. Among his alleged magical feats is the creation of a "spiritual baby. although the name is not mentioned in the records of those trails.22 - . In Witchcraft Today he said science was replacing reliance on the old ways I think we must say good-bye to the witch. He was born in Manchester. The birth is to have resulted from a sacred act of masturbation which occurred between Sanders and a male assistant. Shortly following its creation the spirit Michael disappeared to grow up. when he was 21. By 1965 he claimed 1. insult people and otherwise act abominably. The "Gardnerian tradition" continues to be the dominant tradition of modern Witchcraft. Apparently he attracted people to him who financially supported him.623 initiates in 100 covens he persuaded him to be elected as King of the Witches. Alexander (1929-1988) Sanders rose to fame during the 1960s. He used magic to secure wealth and power. The modern child is not interested. Gardner felt." Sanders told that his grandmother let him copy her Book of Shadows when he was nine and taught him the rites and magic of Witches. the smallness of families. He died before he saw how greatly his own writing inspired the revival of Witchcraft. Nick Demdike. and chiefly by education. He was flamboyant in character. and proclaimed himself "King of Witches" in his native England as he founded the Alexandrian tradition which bears his name. Sanders channeled with another familiar too. who claimed to have been persecuted as a witch at the Lancaster trails of the 17th century. .

I can fill up with warts. He claimed pointing never failed. During the 1960s Sanders met Maxine Morris. All of which led to much media publicity. Many followers came to them. It was an "impression" from Michael which instructed Sanders to anoint the foot with warm olive oil. Having done this. No objective researcher can say any or all of the criticism aimed at Sanders is true or not. whom he initiated into the Craft and handfasted. All one can do is to make note of it without trying to appear bias. others say he made no changes at all. It seemed to other Witches that Sanders enjoyed all of this too much to where it was exploitation. although. and from the Austrian occultist Franz Bardon.23 - . Some say he made few changes in some material. What is known is that the Alexandrian tradition does exist in modern Witchcraft. Others claim the name "Alexander Sanders" was not his own. a Roman Catholic and 20 years his junior. Once it is recorded he ended a s pregnancy by returning the soul to the Divine. it must be noted. and the film. while holding her feet and pouring healing energy into her. (see Janet and Stewart Farrar ) It seems that Sanders’flamboyance irritated many people and seemed to be a cause for him to receive much criticism. The foot stayed corrected. someone who’ already ugly with boil s marks. and public speaking engagements. There were enough believers of what Sanders taught to make this possible. But others could not afford the physician’ fees. a feature writer for the weekly Reveille was working on a story concerning modern Witchcraft and attended an initiation which Sanders invited him to. He cure a woman of cancer but sitting with her in a hospital three days and nights. In the same year their daughter Maya was born. Physicians had said nothing could be done for the foot until the girl reached her teens. from material written by Eliphas Levi. His explanation for this was that "Witch law" required that the elder of a coven to be apart from the others and easy identifiable.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group His healing feats include getting rid of warts by "wishing them on someone else. He. . Farrar was impressed with Sanders. s He performed aborting by pointing and commanding the pregnancy to end. Whether this was justly earned or not is had to say. and he drug the Craft through a gutter press. She became his high priestess. Legend of the Witches. He also healed but pointing to troubled spots on people’ bodies and concentrating. There are even questions about whether Sanders was even initiated by his grandmother or copied her book of shadows at the age of nine. King of the Witches. where they ran their coven and taught classes on Witchcraft. Since the Alexandrian tradition closely follows the Gardnerian tradition some claim this is proof of plagiary. Some women he helped by sending them to certain physicians for the procedure. but one he assumed. who was born in dry labor with her left foot twisted backwards. In 1967 they married in a civil ceremony and moved into a basement flat near Notting Hill Gate in London. Janice walked normally except for a slight limp in cold. To the objective and scholarly observer such questions seem frivolous. One of Sanders’most famous alleged cures involved his daughter Janice. s damp weather. The ceremony impressed and interested Farrar who later was initiated by Maxine Sanders into the coven where he met Janet Owens." He said he cured a man of heroin addiction and a woman of cystitis by laying his hands on her head and willing the affliction away. It was at the preview of Legend of the Witches that Sanders met Stewart Farrar. Sanders turned his daughter’ foot straight. The projection of Sanders into the national public spotlight resulted from a sensational newspaper article in 1969 which led to a romanticized biography . this criticism came after Sanders’publicity was at its highest. Some claim Sanders plagiarized some of his material. Sanders frequently appeared in ritual photos as robed wearing only a loincloth while Witches surrounding him were naked. guest appearances on talk-shows. It is said he took material from the Gardnerian book of shadows. by June Johns in 1969.

April 30. the Farrars steadfastly avoided applying the sectarian label to their approach of Wicca. London. He volunteered for service in the army. They remained in Sander's coven until they went onto form their covens in England and Ireland. A tape recording was played at his funeral in which Sanders declared Victor was to succeed him as King of the Witches.000 members. her mother. Other witches said the council was a "fabrication" of the followers of Sanders. They simply refer to themselves as Witches. in 1939. Essex. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of major. She was born Janet Owen on June 24. c) Farrar. and to the practitioners of the Craft." which claimed an incredible 100. Jant attended the Leyton Manor School in London and Royal Wanstead High School for Girls in Sawbridgeworth.000 witches in Britain alone. 1916 in Highams Park. Both were initiated into the Craft by Alexander Sanders.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group The Sanders separated in 1971. after suffering from lung cancer. According to his mother. Anti-Aircraft. having served as president of the London University Journalism Union and editor of the London Union Magazine. not to mention members of a council. and had moved to the United States. Both of them belonged to the Church of England and were hospital workers." However. Even at his death Sanders seemed to arose controversy. Ivy (nee Craddock). Sanders lived in seclusion until his death on Beltane Eve. 1988. Then from 1947 to the present he embarked on a long and varied career as a journalist. He would have led the "Witchcraft Council of Elders. Agnes (nee Picken) was Scottish and a school teacher. Following her graduation. Both Janet and Stewart shared pre-Wiccan backgrounds. The entire thing seemed preposterous since no king or queen of the craft is ever elected.24 - . where he studied journalism. Their form of Craft worship has been referred to as "reformed Alexandrian" and "post-Alexandrian. He graduated in 1937. Ronald Owen. The Alexandrian tradition now exists in other countries beside Britain. When Janet was five her mother died. Frank Farrar. felt Sanders made major contributions to the Craft. Victor did not want to do so. Maxine. It seemed highly unlikely there are 100. Hertfordshire. author and scriptwriter. His father. A son Victor was born in 1972. 1950. Many. including Stewart Farrar. was English and employed as a bank official. she worked as a model and receptionist. Janet (1950. and became an instructor in Gunnery. The Alexandrian covens have done better in Canada where they were more firmly established before all of Sanders’negative publicity. Stewart received his education at City of London School and University College. in Clapton. was an immigrant Irishwoman. was of English and Welsh descent. which he remained until initiated into the Craft in 1970. while Maxine remained in the London flat where she continued running the coven and teaching the Craft. Her father. London. his mother. but by the age of 20 he had became an agnostic. In the United States it never gained the popularity as did the Gardnerian tradition because it is believed Sanders’negative publicity hurt it. Sanders moved to Sussex. Stewart was raised as a Christian scientist. In 1970 she was initiated into Alex and Maxine Sander's coven where she met Stewart Farrar. Then he worked until 1947 as a civilian public relations and press officer for the Control Commission for Germany.) and Stewart (1916-2000) Two English Witches that have done much to illuminate Witchcraft to the general public. He . As of the 1980s none of the American Alexandrian coven had any connection with Sanders himself. Stewart was born on June 28.

for which Alexander and Maxine Sanders had given technical advice. the book was controversial in that it included incidents which Sanders fabricated about himself plus Farrar's insertion that he ranked Sanders above Gerald B. Then he was employed as a reporter by the Communist Party's Daily Worker. The books include rituals created by the Farrars plus much material concerning the religion of the Craft. have been criticized for revealing too much. They were legally married on July 19. From 1969 to 1974 Stewart was a feature writer for the weekly Reveille. Stewart was skeptical about Witchcraft but was interested in Sanders upon meeting him. a job that got him his introduction into Witchcraft. When moving to Ireland in 1976. On December 22. Stewart left Reveille in 1974 to become a full-time freelance writer. Life & Times of a Modern Witch (1987). 1975. His first detective novel The Snake on 99. refused to disparage "the enfant terrible of British Witchcraft. nevertheless. but merely clarified and illuminated material which has already been made public. The Sanders separated separated shortly afterward. which gained him Sanders' favor. Following nine years of running a coven and giving advice." adding that Sanders had made significance contributions to the Craft. Late in 1969 he was assigned to attend a press preview of the film. Maxine Sanders initiated him into the coven. The book clearly established Farrar as a voice that promoted the Wiccan community. The Farrars also coauthored The Witches' Goddess (1987). the Farrars turned their coven over to Susan and David Buckingham. including contributions by Valiente herself. The Witches' God (1989). a companion to The Witches' Goddess. he begun attending Sanders' training classes.Gardner and alongside of Aleister Crowley and Eliphas Levi in terms of magical achievement. B. Later Farrar admitted that he had been too credulous and no long placed Sanders on the same level as Crowley. His freelance work included radio dramas for the British Broadcasting Company. 1970 the Farrars formed their own London coven. Sanders invited Stewart to attend a Witchcraft initiation. 1974. The success of What Witches Do resulted in the generation of many requests from persons seeking help in joining the Craft. Sanders informed him that the publisher of his own biography King of the Witches was looking for an author to writer another book on modern Witchcraft. as it was developed by Gardner and Doreen Valiente. Stewart got the contract for What Witches Do. Levi. like other Witches who have written about the Craft. They do not feel they have revealed any essential secrets. Reveille was interested in the story. the Farrars coauthored two books of ritual and nonritual material: Eight Sabbats for Witches (1981) and The Witches' Way (1984). but a skeptical outsider. The Farrars. In Ireland they formed a new coven from which several more hived off of it. and who were present at the preview. Legend of Witches. the instructions struck a personal chord within Stewart. They returned to England in 1988. However. Farrar. where he met Janet Owen. . On January 31. Being disillusioned he left it and the party in 1954. The Witches' Way provided the first thorough reconstruction of the evolution of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows. Television. working on television documentaries and a feature film. C. and Gardner. which Stewart did. They disagree with the false secrecy mandate of the Craft. 1970. From 1956 to 1962 he worked as a scriptwriter for Associated British-Pathe. At first he was sympathetic. Also.A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group worked as a sub-editor and night editor in the Reuter's London office from 1953 to 1954. and on February 21. and on television dramas for the company's associate A. However. they were handfasted in a ceremony attended by Stewart's two sons and two daughters from a previous marriage who also took part in the ceremony. He found the ceremony both dignified and moving. now known as Thames Television. saying that it promotes distorted information. short stories for magazines and books. The Farrars built up their own coven from 1970 to 1976.25 - . He wrote a twopart feature story on it for the magazine. In the United States both books were combined and published as A Witches Bible Compleat. The final time which the Farrars saw Sanders was in 1971 when What Witches Do was published. was published in 1958.

themystica. Omega (1980). and seven occult novels. Zero in the Gate (1960) and Death in the Wrong Bed (1963). The Sword of Orley (1977). The Twelve Maidens (1974).A brief history of Modern Magic Logan City Study Group Stewart Farrar's other fiction works include two detective novels. Be a Darling (1963). The Serpent of Lilith (1976). Forcible Entry (1986).com . Delphine. The Dance of Blood (1977). NB: Much of the material from this booklet comes from the Encyclopedia Mystica: http://www.26 - . and Blacklash (1988). a romance novel.

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